Turkey's animal rights advocates hold rally against stray animal euthanasia bill

Animal rights advocates on June 2 held rallies across Turkey to protest a draft law prepared by the ruling AKP that proposes to “euthanize” stray animals as a population control measure.

Duvar English

Animal rights advocates and animal lovers on June 2 gathered in various provinces of Turkey to protest the draft “stray animal euthanasia” bill proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). 

In Istanbul, animal rights supporters gathered at the Yenikapı demonstration area for the "Justice Rally."

Hundreds of citizens attended the rally, carrying signs that read, "Don't kill, let live" and "Stop the massacre, enforce the law."

The organizing committee made a speech during the rally. "The street animals we share our streets, parks, and neighborhoods with are under great threat.”

The group emphasized that none of the previous efforts that excluded animal rights defenders from deliberations has been effective.

The statement continued, "Our society firmly rejects any law that includes the rounding up and killing of dogs and cats.” 

The group stated that protecting and showing mercy to the vulnerable was “one of the most fundamental virtues of human dignity.” 

“The idea of rounding up and exterminating animals struggling with hunger, cold, and disease on the streets is neither acceptable to our conscience nor our sense of humanity."

The rally featured chants against the proposed law, with slogans such as "You shall not round up, imprison, or kill them."

The AKP signaled that the amendment to the Animal Rights Law to allow euthanasia for stray dogs would soon arrive at the parliament. 

Party representatives claim that euthanasia would be carried out “compassionately and painlessly," and current methods like rehabilitation, sterilization, and shelters have not yielded results.

The “Safe Streets and Right to Life Association” spearheads the move for euthanasia, claiming that the rise in stray populations poses risks, especially to children.